In a statement published Tuesday, the al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist organization threatened to unleash a string of child suicide bombings across India in response to remarks about the Muslim prophet Muhammad made by a now-former spokeswoman for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
During a cable news debate last week, former spokeswoman Nupur Sharma – discussing widespread mockery by Muslims of Hindu gods following the debated discovery of a sacred Hindu relic in a mosque – suggested that Hindus should mock the Islamic hadith, or holy writing, stating that Muhammad married a girl named Aisha when she was six years old. Sharma also mentioned several other Quranic statements she considered potential fodder for jokes.
“Should I start mocking claims of flying horses or the flat-earth theory as mentioned in your Quran? You are marrying a 6-year-old girl and having sex with her when she turned 9. Who did it? Prophet Muhammad,” Sharma said on the cable news network Times Now. “Should I start saying all these things that are mentioned in your scriptures?”
Sharma’s comments resulted in her suspension from the BJP for six years and riots featuring thousands of people across the country demanding her arrest for “blasphemy.” Sharma herself has received many death threats, prompting the government to offer her and her family special police detail.
“Saffron terrorists should now await their end in Delhi and Bombay [Mumbai] and in UP [Uttar Pradesh] and Gujarat,” the al-Qaeda statement read in part. “Saffron terrorists” is a reference to Hindus, later referred to as “Hindutva terrorists occupying India;” the listed locations are regions of India.
“They shall find refuge neither in their homes nor in their fortified army cantonments. May our mothers be bereaved of us if we do not avenge our beloved Prophet,” the statement continued. “We shall kill those who affront our Prophet and we shall bind explosives with our bodies and the bodies of our children to blow away the ranks of those who dare to dishonor our Prophet.”
“We shall fight for the dignity of our Prophet, we shall urge others to fight and die for the honour of our Prophet,” the statement concluded.